At last Thursday's Annual Council meeting in Waltham Forest the Labour Group made a rather questionable Cabinet appointment.

The Leader of the Council, Clyde Loakes, has stood down to concentrate on his Parliamentary campaign in Northampton South and to distance himself from the ever growing Better Neighbourhood Initiative funding fiasco for which he is responsible. As a result Chris Robbins has become the new Leader of the Council and so his portfolio, Children and Young People, was vacant. Labour chose to give that portfolio to Cllr Liaquat Ali who, in the year he was Mayor, was convicted in court of illegally keeping his child out of school in order to take her on a trip to Pakistan. We therefore have the peculiar position where the only councillor in Waltham Forest to have been convicted of keeping their own child out of school, which is a serious problem in this Borough, has been put in charge of education.

Cllr Matt Davis, the Conservative Group leader, says: "Only in Waltham Forest could this happen."